HONOLULU, Hawaii - A Hawaii chapter leader of the Philippine mega church Kingdom of Jesus Christ is facing another allegation of cash smuggling by a former member.
ABS-CBN News spoke to Felina Salinas’ lawyer Michael Green, who not only dismissed Kristina Angeles’ accusations but also said she had a motive behind her actions.
“I don't necessarily believe anything Angeles says. I mean, she, you know, she's asked for asylum to stay in the United States. She doesn't want to go back based on her cooperation. She's able to stay here for now and she's hoping to stay here forever,” Green said.
Recent court documents state that Angeles claimed to have seen Hawaii branch manager Salinas and church founder Apollo Quiboloy ordering church members to smuggle hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of money from California to the Philippines on two separate occasions in 2013 and 2014.
“Her story has been inconsistent from the reports I've read and statements that she gave to law enforcement over the years. And I don't think she's worthy of belief, frankly,” he added.
Salinas has already been charged with trying to smuggle more than $300,000 in cash from Hawaii to the Philippines last year on Quiboloy’s private jet.
Green believes Angeles is testifying against Salinas for immigration reasons.
“She's only supposed to be here on a visa for a short period of time and no one's sending her back, even though the time has expired. And now she's asking for asylum and she's saying that her life is in danger,” he said.
The camp of Salinas is trying to discredit Angeles stating that she was charged in state court for sexually abusing a member of the church. But federal prosecutors countered by saying the state charges may be based on a false testimony from the mother of the alleged victim.
ABS-CBN News also reached out to Angeles’ lawyer who refused to comment on an ongoing case.
The Kingdom of Jesus Christ church is based in Davao City and has over 6 million followers worldwide, with Hawaii a fast growing chapter.
With the new cash smuggling allegation, the next court date for Salinas has been set for February 2020.
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